Fenwick & West offers law school students a truly unique experience. We're a mid-size, West Coast firm with a national presence—large enough to attract the biggest, first-rate clients—such as Cisco Systems and Google—yet small enough to maintain a collegial work environment.
We respect the individual and value team players. We seek out and hire lawyers with diverse backgrounds and unique personal experiences. We believe that diverse perspectives make us highly-creative problem solvers and a stronger team. And at Fenwick, you succeed by making the rest of your team better, as our firm culture emphasizes cooperation among team members. Each team member is expected to perform excellent work—not solely for his or her own greater glory—but for the greater success of the firm and our clients.
Fenwick & West offers a split summer opportunity for 2L students. The Fellow(s) spend the first seven weeks of the summer working as a Fenwick Summer Associate and the following three weeks at a Bay Area public interest organization which focuses on diversity issues or serving diverse populations. Fellow(s) continue to attend firm summer events during the fellowship. Candidates must have first accepted an offer from the firm to be a summer associate before they are eligible to apply for the Public Interest Fellowship. Candidates must submit an essay not longer than two pages detailing their reasons for wanting to pursue the Public Interest Fellowship and how it will contribute to their professional life. Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of their essay, resume, academic achievement and interview.
At the end of the summer, the Public Interest Fellow will be eligible for a first-year associate offer. Offers will be contingent upon work evaluations and performance feedback from the public interest organization.
Fenwick & West recruits law students from a number of leading law schools in the late summer/early fall. Check out our Campus Interview Schedule and come see us when we're in your area.
Bay Area Diversity Career Fair - July 28
Duke University - July 30
Fordham University - July 30
Cornell University - August 1
Columbia University - August 3
Harvard University - August 6
New York University - August 6
Seattle University - August 6
UC Davis - August 6
University of Pennsylvania - August 6
University of Michigan - August 8
Lavender Law Career Fair - August 10
UC Berkeley Law - TBD
Northwestern University - August 7
UCLA - August 1
UC Hastings - August 1
Santa Clara University - TBD
Stanford University - August 8 and 9
University of Chicago - August 9
University of Washington - TBD
As a summer associate, you will gain valuable work experience and develop an understanding of the professional and personal development opportunities that Fenwick & West can provide.
We treat our summer associates like first year associates, challenging you with interesting and varied work assignments. We also provide training and development programs throughout the summer that will help you develop as an attorney. Our mentoring program pairs you with a "buddy" (mentor attorney) who will provide guidance and help you navigate your summer program. And no summer would be complete without a few special events designed to highlight the local area's unique attractions and enhance the overall summer experience with Fenwick. Past summer events have included sailing excursions on the San Francisco Bay, white water rafting, Napa Valley wine tasting, cooking classes, baseball games and numerous informal dinner and barbeques with partners, associates and legal staff.
In addition to partners and associates bumping into the summer associates at the coffee machine and requesting their help on a project, work assignments are made through workflow coordinators designated in each of our practice areas. Workflow coordinators are responsible for soliciting projects from attorneys in their practice areas and making them available for assignment via intranet posting.
Projects are posted to the Summer Associate Work Assignment System from where the summer associate can review available projects and select assignments. The workflow coordinators may also be in contact regarding special assignments in their practice areas. Projects are available on a first come, first serve basis, so our summer associates are encouraged to solicit attorneys for work in the areas of law that they are interested in pursuing.
At Fenwick & West, a commitment to the training and development of our associates is part of our culture—and summer associates are no exception. We provide structured and hands-on training, not only while you're actively working, but throughout the academic year. Some of the summer associate training programs we've offered include:
At Fenwick, we are committed to the highest level of excellence, yet we value and maintain a fun and enjoyable work environment. Our attorneys mustn't fit into any personality mold in order to succeed. Rather, our firm's perspective mirrors that of the entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists who populate the rapid-growth companies of the West Coast-we have a passion for excellence and we value results, not conformity. Every law firm has its culture, and we very much value ours.
One of the traits that attract attorneys to Fenwick is that our firm culture promotes having diverse and important interests outside of work. We encourage all of our people to maintain a healthy balance between their working lives and their personal lives, and we provide avenues for them to do so. This includes reduced-hours options for associates and partners seeking increased flexibility, firm-paid vacations and dinners and telecommuting.
While law firms have historically been late adopters of technology, we believe in leveraging technology to allow us to be more efficient, responsive and creative. We have a passion for innovation that mirrors our client base. Our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes—allowing us to deliver best-in-class legal services more effectively across all offices. Fenwick is frequently recognized in the media for our innovative use of technology. Whether its litigation or M&A support, helping our clients manage shared information or avoiding "reinventing the wheel," we routinely use technology to solve problems in creative, innovative and efficient ways.
At Fenwick, associates have significant opportunities to seek out the type of work they want to do and the attorneys with whom they want to work. In fact, associates are encouraged to take that initiative. Summer associates also utilize the free market system, selecting assignments from a wide variety of opportunities. We have found that our free market system encourages associates to take ownership of their careers, develop the necessary contacts within the firm to find work that interests them and maintain positive work relationships. It also motivates partners and senior associates to be invested in junior and mid-level associates’ professional development. While our system offers flexibility, the key is that we actively encourage associates to shape their own work experiences.
To become a successful attorney, we believe that education can't end when attorneys leave law school. We also believe that Fenwick is responsible for providing meaningful training opportunities to its employees, and we commit substantial resources to our multifaceted professional development program to do so.
Through our innovative Fenwick University program, associates learn how to build a career with programs focused on developing soft skills like networking (internally and externally), making presentations and client pitches and drafting personal business plans. Associates learn to build on and reinforce these skills as they progress through the junior, mid and senior levels of the Fenwick University curriculum.
We also have an amazing array of opportunities to develop substantive legal skills and knowledge. We provide our junior attorneys with intensive skill building "boot camp" courses within individual practice groups to cover foundational knowledge and skills. We have additional stand-alone formal training programs for associates and many practice group-specific presentations that touch on practical teachings, as well as on breaking developments and hot issues in the technology and life sciences legal practices. It is not at all unusual for there to be three different lunch-time CLE programs in a single week. As such, our attorneys can easily meet their CLE requirements through our internal programs and save on lunch expenses!
Because we understand that working in a law firm is a big change for most people, associates are assigned confidential advisors on their first day to help guide through the early stages as a Fenwick attorney. In the second year, associates are assigned a new confidential advisor to learn and benefit from the experience of another mid-level associate. Our third-year associates enter the Professional Development Mentoring Program which puts them working closely with an assigned Fenwick partner or senior associate who helps guide through an array of professional development choices best suited for long-term career goals.
The firm's Professional Development Mentoring Program has also been integrated into some of Fenwick's training initiatives. For example, as part of Fenwick University training programs for mid-level associates, mentoring partners and senior associates lend their perspective and expertise to associates as they prepare to present their business plans. For the senior associate training programs, mentoring partners will sit in on their mentees' mock client pitches to provide them with feedback to fine tune their sales presentation.
View Fenwick’s profile on the NALP Directory of Legal Employers.